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National Party's obesity response 'simple-minded'

Public Health Specialists says 'Back of a cereal packet' is no response for obesity

For immediate release, Friday 31 August

The National Party's response within the Health Select Committee Report on the Inquiry into Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes is simple-minded, says Robert Quigley, a Public Health Specialist.

National recommends 'education' as the major solution to the obesity epidemic. Robert Quigley says, "That's like using the back of a cereal packet for your obesity strategy. National clearly doesn't care about protecting the wellbeing of NZ children or adults.

"National rejects the single most effective option to prevent obesity in children - regulation of television advertising. Instead National suggests the least effective intervention. What’s that about?" says Robert Quigley.

Food labelling is also an important tool affecting how people make food choices.

"National rejects the need for a clear, traffic light labelling system which would assist with choosing healthier food. I would have thought National would have been right behind this," says Robert Quigley, "as we know it is an effective way to help people choose healthier foods."

"It's almost like the National Party want to make our kiwi kids fatter - they really couldn't have got it more wrong.

"Finally, the National Party has turned this important issue into a political statement. They have ignored the public, the health sector, charities, NGOs and university professors. Who did they listen to?"

ENDS


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